The Lafayette Municipal Pool
Long Beach, New York
The Lafayette Municipal Pool
SW Corner of Broadway and Lafayette Blvd,
between Broadway and the Boardwalk.
Painted advertisement for the pool on the side of 428 W Broadway, the old Victory Apts., just west of the pool in 1938
The Long Beach Municipal Pool opened for business sometime in the late 1920's.   It was the first pool built by the new city.  It occupied the SW corner of Lafayette Blvd between Broadway and the boardwalk. The distinctive white stucco building with blue trim and a red Spanish tile roof would provide an alternative to ocean bathing and was recognized by all.  It also was the place where a half century of Long Beach kids first learned how to swim.  Swim teams were developed here, lifeguards trained here, celebrities showcased here and bands played here.  50 cents would get you in as an adult, a quarter for a kid (it may have been 10 cents at one time)

The advertisement seen above, from the late 1930s, speaks of handball courts, special kids pool, outdoor theatre with movies every night and band concerts 3 times daily.  Famous swimmers and divers performed at the pool, especially in the 1930s.  It was then that Olympic medalists Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weismuller (of the 1930s Tarzan movies) could be seen performing bits from Billy Rose's famous "Aquacades" act, showcased at the 1939 World's Fair.  Eleanor Holm, born in Brooklyn, was the daughter of a New York Fire Department Chief, and learned to swim at the pool, which was near her family's summer cottage in Long Beach.

The pool was originally built with a deep diving end, reported to be about 12 feet deep by people who remember it.  Some time later it was filled in to a maximun depth of about 5-6 ft for safety.  That is how I remember it in the early 1960's. 

The last mention of the outdoor Municipal Pool is in the 1968-69 Long Beach Guide, where it was still advertised as 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for kids.  The 1970 guide no longer lists it, and that would be about the time it closed for good, and all activities moved to the year round indoor pool on Magnolia and the bay. The structure remained for some years later, mostly used for beach maintenance offices and storage of life guard chairs and ocean barrels in the winter.

As always, these images would not be possible without the contributions of many people including, but not limited to, the late Dr Kenneth Tydings through his son Dr Albert Tydings, Lowell Taubman, Ellen Spooner, the Long Beach Historical Society, the Long Beach Public Library, the Library of Congress and our own private collection.  If we failed to mention you please email us so we may properly credit you.

Enjoy these memories of Long Beach, America's Healthiest City!

The pool as it would have looked in the 1920's shortly after opening.
Click the thumbnails below to open a larger image.
Possibly the 1940's judging by cars in the background.
Appears to be late 50's or very early 60's
Appears to be late 50's or very early 60's
Looking towards Lafayette Blvd with Broadway on the left, from the deep end side
No Diving
just meant that you did!
The building to the rear is where you entered.
Probably taken in the 1960's
Here is how the Lafayette Pool appeared in the 1950's
428 W Broadway at Washington and Broadway, 1938.  The pool advertisement seen at the top of this page is on the side of this building and the white pool fence is just visible on the far left.
Cyrus O. Levinson's Central Camp, east of the Lafayette Pool.  The pool would be to the left across the street.
Parking for the Central Day Camp and the pool (the corner is visible to the left) Sometime during the 1950's. This parking lot is now occupied by 370 W. Broadway.
A recollection from Stephen Kohut which appeared in the 75th Anniversary Long Beach Photo Album brochure.
(L-R) Billy Rose, Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weismuller, 1930s
Johnny Weismuller in Long Beach, 1920's
Eleanor Holm, a child who learned to swim at the Lafayette and the Olympia pools, became a multi year olympian in 1928 and 1932. Pictured here at the 1939 World's Fair. Her family had a summer cottage at 69 Pennsylvania Ave..
Looking south on Lafayette from Penn St, early 70's.  The pool is on the right and would have been closed by this year.
Looking west from Lafayette Blvd, early 70's.  The pool was behind the white building on the right, which was used for beach maintenance.
The last advertisement for the Municipal Pool in the Long Beach Guide 1968-69 edition.  Another Long Beach landmark closed and destined for demolition.
Lafayette Blvd looking south in 2014. The pool was on the right.
The ad reads:
Lafayette Casino Swimming Pool
Largest on Island
Modern Bath Houses
Special Children Pool
Hand Ball Courts
Band Concert 3 Times Daily
Admission 50 cents
Outdoor Theatre Movies Every NIght
Click for Long Beach, NY Forecast
Photo Directories
Long Beach, New York
Another pool existed, believed to be on Grand Blvd and the boardwalk called the Olympia Pool, or Olympia Baths.. we are doing some research on that one and have located a couple of photos.  There were apparently dispays by famous swimmers there also.  If you have any information or photos of the Olympia Pool please email us with it !!  Thanks !
email me
These two photos, reprinted from a book by the Long Beach Historical Society, show the Olympia Pool.  In the photo on the left you can just make out a street light of the type used on the boardwalk in the 30's to the right of the man on the diving board. It is believed this was on Grand Blvd and the boardwalk, unknown exactly where.  Please email us if you have any other info on this pool. Thanks